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12th May
written by Steph
Hallelujah! Months of programming experiments, running experiments, analyzing data, reading papers, writing and re-wring have finally paid off. On Thursday morning, I did one last proof read through my dissertation and then I attached a PDF version of it to an email and sent it off to my committee! (For those interested, the final page count was 102 pages). In two weeks, I'll give a public presentation of my dissertation experiments, and then I'll undergo my final graduate school oral defense, and I will finally be Dr. Steph! It's hard to believe that after years of ups and downs, that my time as a student is finally drawing to a close. I haven't quite parsed the enormity of that just yet, but I've found through this whole process that I'm best off just focusing on getting through one day at a time, so that's what I'll keep doing.

Home by Toni Morrison

Of course, immediately after submitting my dissertation, I began to show signs of a horrible cold. I have felt awful for the past two days, and while I am definitely on the mend now, I am still not back in full fighting form. But I am well enough that I can finally write my monthly BookPage post, where I tell you about what I've reviewed in the latest issue. In the May issue of BookPage, I had the great good fortune to review Toni Morrison's latest masterpiece, Home. I'm a huge Morrison fan, so it was a huge honor to review one of her books in a professional capacity. It also didn't hurt that Home is her shortest book to date; in a time when my pleasure reading time has been severely limited (and I've had essentially no attention span), it was nice to have a book that needed my attention but didn't need a huge time investment. If, like me, you've been eagerly awaiting Morrison's latest slice of literary greatness, you can read my full review here. Obviously, I'll still have dissertation brain for the next few weeks, but despite being super ill, I've felt a lightness come over me this past week that has long been absent, and I'm optimistic that I'll soon recapture my full book-blogging mojo. In truth, writing this dissertation hasn't been nearly as awful as I thought it would be (though I'm totally fine with never doing this ever again), but I am still so looking forward to reclaiming my life. For at least a month, that is, since Tony and I are officially leaving Nashville at the end of June. We'll be moving up to Toronto for a couple of weeks to get our dogs settled in with my parents, and then we'll be heading off on our big world tour! (Don't worry though, we're bringing our e-readers so we'll have plenty to read on the myriad planes, trains, and buses we'll be taking!) So life will be busy for the foreseeable future, but with one of the biggest stressors finally stripped away, I am looking forward to refocusing on those things that enrich me and nourish my spirit.


  1. 05/12/2012

    Yay!!!!! Congrats Steph!

  2. 05/12/2012

    Yaaaaaaay! It must feel so freeing to be done! Congratulations!!!!

  3. 05/12/2012

    Congratulations! That’s a wonderful achievement!!

  4. 05/12/2012

    Congratulations, Steph! Well done 😀 And I hope you get well soon. Definitely get lots of rest – you deserve it!

  5. 05/12/2012

    Congratulations! Hope you feel better soon!

  6. 05/12/2012

    Congrats, congrats — that’s so exciting!! So jealous you got to read Morrison’s latest — will check out your review!

  7. 05/12/2012

    YIPPEE! So glad for you 🙂

  8. Congratulations! You must be so relieved! It is amazing how our body keeps us well when we need to. I always find that I get ill at weekends now. I don’t get to be ill during the week as I have to look after my boys, but at the weekends my husband is around so I think my body just keeps going during the week and then once its all over it gives up a bit! I hope you get better soon and are able to enjoy the rest.

  9. Oh wow, congrats! That is such an amazing accomplishment. I’m so happy for you, and excited for you to finish up and head off on your adventures.

  10. Wow! Wooohooo! Wheee! Congrats, Steph! You should be so proud!

  11. 05/16/2012

    Congratulations, Dr. Steph! I know, vicariously, what a huge relief and sense of accomplishment submitting your dissertation is.

    I hope you are back to full strength soon, so neither the basking in glory nor the world tour are hindered in any way.

    Well done! (Now off to your review of Home.)

  12. 05/18/2012

    A HUGE congratulations Steph! Quite a hurdle and good luck with your defense! It’s wonderful that you have so many things to look forward to including lots of reading:)

  13. 06/10/2012

    Congratulations, Steph, that’s so amazing!

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